Fast, Simple, and Delicious Country Loaf Bread

Fast, Simple, and Delicious Country Loaf Bread

This French country-style bread has a soft and delicate crumb, rich and yeasty flavor, and a beautiful golden crust. The dough comes together quickly, and the oven handles the second proof and baking together so you can spend more time reading A Year in Provence. Ooh la la!

2 hrs 45 mins total time

30 mins active time


Makes 1 loaf



  • 1¼ cups (10 fl oz) warm water


  • 2 tsp (¼ oz) instant dried yeast
  • 4 tsp (¾ oz) white sugar
  • 2⅔ cups (14.1 oz) bread flour
  • 1 tsp (¼ oz) kosher salt


  • 1Place the water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and stir to dissolve. Let stand for 5 minutes. The extra yeast in this recipe, along with the higher proofing temperature, cuts down on the total fermentation time needed to achieve a gorgeous loaf of bread.
  • 2Mix the flour and salt together. Mixing the dry ingredients first ensures they are evenly dispersed.
  • 3Add the flour to the yeast mixture and knead on low speed for 10 minutes, scraping down the bowl and dough hook occasionally, until smooth and elastic. Kneading for 10 minutes develops the gluten and structure needed to support the dough and trap air from the yeast activity, giving a tender crumb in the final loaf.
  • 4Insert the wire rack into position 7. Transfer the dough to a large bowl. Cover, place in the oven, and start the timer. This rack position leaves plenty of room for the first bulk proof and rise.
  • 5The dough should be doubled in size. If it’s not there yet, give it a bit more.
  • 6Line the pizza pan with parchment paper. Gently turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and stretch into a 13-inch x 6-inch rectangle. Fold into thirds and then fold into thirds again. Stretch the corners, up and over the dough to form into a smooth round shape.
    Tip: Handle the dough gently when shaping to keep the air bubbles in the dough. This will yield a more tender interior and a crumb that’s not too tight or dense. Pinching the dough to seal helps retain the perfect round shape during the final proof and bake.
  • 7Place the dough on the pizza pan. Place in the oven and press start. The oven will proof at a relatively high temperature, which speeds up the process. It will bake at a high temperature with super convection, then gradually decrease the temperature to create a golden exterior and moist interior.
    Tip: Adding a small dish of water to the oven will increase humidity, helping with crust development and a springy texture.
  • 8If you want a darker, crispier crust, give it a bit more.
  • 9Take 30 minutes to gaze at the loaf’s rustic charm and allow it to cool before slicing.